The Resilience of Both – And

In my youth, I was more of an “Either-Or” person. The swinging pendulum of Either-Or seemed to keep things simple. Circumstances were good or bad. People were friend or foe. I was a sinner or a saint. Fortunately, somewhere in my twenties, I discovered the limitations of Either-Or – like there was no middle ground, which meant there was no resting point, which meant I was going to keep swinging wildly and lose time and energy in moving forward.

Leaning into the fundamental principle of Improvisational acting (accept everything given to you by saying, “Yes, and…” to create the next moment) and the spiritual principle that acceptance does not mean approval, and the coaching principle of Dance In This Moment, I entered the zone of Both-And.

Both – And has served me really well this past year, and especially in the past week. I received completely unexpected news: I have to move by the end of January. After hearing these v-e-r-y unwelcome words (ugh – I’ve just spent the last year packing, unpacking, moving, repacking, moving again all my mom’s stuff after Harvey) I hung up the phone and SOBBED, hurling myself onto the sofa, WAILING into the pillows so my neighbors wouldn’t call 911, certain I was being attacked.

The Comfort of Home

After the wailing slowed and the tears flowed quietly, I walked around my beautiful home of twelve years. I ran my fingers over the walls I’ve painted the exact colors I wanted to, each room its own landscape. An eclectic mix of antique, old, new and repurposed items somehow all fit into and make this space home. And oh, yeah, I live on the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean and go to bed to the sound of her waves.

I called my mom, knowing she would know exactly what it feels like to know you can’t keep living in the place you have called home. She said, “Oh, honey” and “I’m so sorry” at the right times to my quietly tearful sadness.

Toward the end of our conversation, I said, “Well, maybe I will find an even better place on the beach than this!

“Oh, my precious, unstoppable optimistic daughter,” my mom said.

This, Or Better!

When we got off the phone, I sat looking out on the ocean. Suddenly, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I’ve been setting very clear intentions around life partner for the past month. The words of my Feng Shui Goddess, P.K. Odle, came flooding in: my bedroom contains some wicked “Lonely Pillow Syndrome” angles for me. I’ve done the suggested remedies and yet, relationships have not stuck. My years of spiritual and personal growth keep me grounded in the truth that each intention creates a ripple in our world and the ripple of this intention looks like a physical move.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This recognition does not all of a sudden eliminate my sadness and downright irritation around having to move in three months. I still cry, share my sadness with friends about it all and give airtime to the little girl inside who is digging in her heels, wanting to stay put. I’ve had to keep in check the Fairy Tale Fine mask that wants me to pretend this isn’t happening, the owner will change her plans, that I will somehow be rescued, or that Mr. Right is going to appear as soon as I move.

I do, however, experience the power of my resilience in the Both–And space. I can hold sadness AND a growing excitement about the adventure ahead. I can experience my tiredness of boxes, moving paper, and tape AND the knowledge that I make a space into a home, not the walls or even the view. I can know it will be hard to leave here AND hold the intention for “Something like this, or better!”

In the Both–And space I experience my gratitude even more deeply for this healing nest of mine as I search for the next home that will allow this birdie to fly higher, further and with the company of a mate.

What Either – Or in your life needs a Both – And update? I love supporting clients to find their Both – And resilience. If you’d like some support in experiencing your own Both – And resilience, please reach out here for a complimentary chat.

Love & Light,

Cat

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